You have your basic skincare regimen down to a tee, but what about exfoliation? Exfoliants should be used to help smooth and revive a dull, tired complexion. Most people think of scrubs with beads or other granules when they think of exfoliation, but there are more possibilities.
Our skin naturally exfoliates itself as our cells go through their natural life cycle every two weeks. As we age, our cell renewal rate slows, resulting in a buildup of dead skin cells. Using an exfoliant helps loosen cells from the upper layers of skin, the epidermis, to clear cellular buildup. Hydroxy Acids, physical exfoliants, enzymes and Retinol can help boost cellular turnover.
Chemical exfoliators include Hydroxy Acids, Retinol and enzymes. Hydroxy Acids like Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid help loosen dead skin cells to smooth the skin. Enzymatic exfoliation smooths the stratum corneum by eating at the skin cells on the surface. Retinol normalizes cell turnover and loosens the glue that holds cells together.
Gentle, very superficial exfoliants stay within the uppermost layers of the epidermis, the stratum corneum. When a light chemical exfoliation treatment is performed you may or may not experience skin sloughing.
Professional skin therapists have access to stronger exfoliants called superficial chemical exfoliants that impact all or part of the epidermis down to the basal layer, resulting in mild flaking. As a general rule, you can get this type of facial every 30 days, depending on how your skin reacts to the treatment.
With stronger peels that penetrate down to the dermis, you will have longer downtime and should plan three to six months between treatments.
Physical exfoliants use granules to manually remove dead skin cells from the surface. The granules may include beads, nut powder or seed powder. They do not penetrate beyond the superficial layers of the dermis. Acne-prone and sensitive skin may wish to avoid physical exfoliants as they can irritate the skin if overdone.
Many exfoliants include polyethylene beads, small plastic particles. Microbeads, which negatively impact the environment, were banned in July of 2018. As of July 2016, all Glo Skin Beauty exfoliants and cleansers are microbead-free and use safe alternatives.